The biomolecular characterization of a finger ring contextually dated to the emergence of the Early Neolithic from Syltholm, Denmark

Theis Zetner Trolle Jensen*, Meaghan Mackie, Alberto John Taurozzi, Liam Thomas Lanigan, Carsten Gundelach, Jesper Olsen, Søren Anker Sørensen, Matthew James Collins, Mikkel Sørensen, Hannes Schroeder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

We present the analysis of an osseous finger ring from a predominantly early Neolithic context in Denmark. To characterize the artefact and identify the raw material used for its manufacture, we performed micro-computed tomography scanning, zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry (ZooMS) peptide mass fingerprinting, as well as protein sequencing by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We conclude that the ring was made from long bone or antler due to the presence of osteons (Haversian canals). Subsequent ZooMS analysis of collagen I and II indicated that it was made from Alces alces or Cervus elaphus material. We then used LC-MS/MS analysis to refine our species identification, confirming that the ring was made from Cervus elaphus, and to examine the rest of the proteome. This study demonstrates the potential of ancient proteomics for species identification of prehistoric artefacts made from osseous material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number191172
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume7
Issue number1
Number of pages16
ISSN2054-5703
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Collagen
  • Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Microcomputed tomography scanning
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry

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